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Embassy visits and ambassador meetings enhance National Security Fellow’s summer internship

Tatiana Hamilton, Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies major and Political Science major, found her ideal internship with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington, D.C.

Photo of three female and one male wearing suits and lanyards gathered around a laptop while smiling.

Hamilton, second from the left, participated in a model Arab League with fellow members of the University Student Summer Internship Program.

A group photo of students wearing suits and standing on a set of stairs.

Hamilton, leftmost in the front row, with the University Student Summer Internship Program cohort.

Senior Tatiana Hamilton of Laurel, Maryland, was seeking summer opportunities when she found the University Student Summer Internship Program with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

As an Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies major with a cultural specialization and Political Science major with an International Studies specialization, and a minor in Spanish, Hamilton had a lot of boxes to check for an internship experience that matched her academic ambitions.

“My interests are in national security and international relations, so seeing the inner workings of the National Council was exciting,” says the McDaniel National Security Fellow (NSF) and Global Fellow who has a lifelong love of international travel and learning about foreign affairs.

As a special programs assistant intern at the National Council, she got experiences that are only an everyday occurrence if you’re a professional in Washington. She visited the U.S. Department of State and the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait.

“Normally, I wouldn’t be able to walk into an embassy and get a briefing from the spokesperson or assistant to the ambassador,” she says. “They aren’t people I would typically encounter, so it was great to be able to.”

Awarded a Summer Intern Fellowship from the Center for Experience and Opportunity, Hamilton focused on communication and professionalism throughout the summer.

Tatiana Hamilton Summer 2023 Intern

Hamilton with John Duke Anthony.

She got a “behind-the-scenes look” while doing social media, researching the Middle East and North Africa region, drafting speeches, organizing an event for the new ambassador of Kuwait, and working on a project with decades of travel photos from John Duke Anthony, founding president of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

She even gained inspiration for her Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies capstone project.

“A lot of conversations we had throughout the summer with experts involved U.S. security strategy and looking at the pivot out of the Middle East,” she says. “People are wondering if the U.S. still has interests in the Middle East, so that’s what I’m looking at for my capstone.”

When she met Senior Lecturer in Arabic Carol Zaru, coordinator of the Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies program, during Scholars on the Hill as a senior in high school, she knew McDaniel was the place for her, and that her degree would focus on Middle Eastern culture.

Hamilton found that her lessons from McDaniel helped during her internship, especially Politics of the Middle East with Associate Professor Anouar Boukhars and NSF advising with Associate Professor Francis Grice.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had at the National Council and all of the people I met,” she says.

“This internship was a rewarding experience and has taught me a lot about my future career aspirations and how to navigate the workplace and professional settings. I look forward to carrying these new skills and knowledge with me. "